Self employment - A year in review

Jes 8 Comments

My business is now more than 1 year old! Time flies and I can't believe I survived a test of ups and downs. I can't say it was an easy time because it was definitely a steep learning curve working in my own business but this past year was definitely rewarding.

What I like
The high pay per working hours is indeed the main attraction of the job. The flexibility of the hours is another part which helped me throughout my morning sickness and maternity months. I was able to focus on my current priorities in life, which is to spend more time with my family and I am now happier, healthier. I would like to think I am also more patient too. No more rushing here and there and I could lead a less hurried pace in life, which is just perfect at this moment.

What I don't like
Low pay is surely the key issue right now. Although we are sustainable and profitable, I believe we can still do lots more. The key here is not profit margins yet but revenue. To not only gain higher awareness but higher customer acquisition and more recurrent income from offline businesses. Well, I have prepared of this fact and have given myself 3 years before I could get a salary where my bank account would start to increase again.

What I learnt
Taste buds are super subjective. I can't seem to get a grip on the market demands yet. The snacks I don't like does not mean they will not sell, while the snacks I like are not always going to fly off the shelves. Even doing a taste test with my friends yielded many differing results so I have to learn though the hard way on which flavors are more sell-able - Trial and error. To balance the flavours that would sell well and yet only sold by us, that would be the sweet spot.

What I can improve on
We are purely an online shop now. Although our name is quite striking if you search on the online platforms on nuts, more can be done on corporate deals and recurrent businesses.

What I hope
This year will be the time to expand into retail shops and increasing our variety. Customers want new snacks and innovative ideas to munch on and I hope to live up to that. I would also seek more sources of revenue besides the online methods.

Online is definitely a great way to start but there are still a sizeable market segment who needs snacks off the shelf. They like to interact and see the product but at a moment's notice. There really are some people who need gourmet snacks at a snap of fingers! A venture into places to carry our stocks is one way to go.

My life as a self employed
I like my lifestyle now. Whether business can continue to be sustainable is unknown so I shall continue to foray into this ever changing market.  It's deeply satisfying to be a mother and to have the time and energy to guide them through life's lessons. They are currently my greatest joy and pride, I am sure all parents will feel this way. Now, it's up to us to claw our way and carve a path so that we can allocate more quality time with them, or to submit to financial strains and miss out on their golden moments.

I believe that if I really want this to succeed, it will.


Like me on my entrepreneurial journey for SnackFirst!


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  1. Hey!

    Jia you! When I'm year 1 as a tutor, I'm also struggling to learn all sorts of things. Only when I'm year 3 to year 4 that I can say for sure that I can survive doing this. In between, it's all sorts of self doubts. By then, it's time to re-wire everything again to learn the next steps to fly higher haha

    But now i'm cruising lah. Don't want to fly higher anymore, so that I can fly together with my family haha

    1. Hi LP,

      That's true, I have mentally prepared myself for 3 years no pay, so I got a small consolation now because I have started drawing a small salary. It;s challenging every year but it's more fulfilling to lead this life.

      Haha, oh year, family trip! Another kind of nightmare and fun too! :)

  2. glad at least you have figured a lot out to a certain extent.

    1. Hi Kyith,

      Yep, with more time, I can experience more opportunities and open more doors. Meet up soon! :)

  3. Congrats on making it through the first year! Excited to see businesses grow and you seem to have your growth road-map drawn up ;)

    1. Hi Sipping Coconuts,

      Nice name, I like coconuts too! Thank you for the well wishes, it was a terrible first year but it can only get better. I am not sure about any road map but just one step at a time is good enough for me! :)

  4. Just dropping by here and chanced upon your review. I like to do business and I often study other businesses around me. After reading, I was thinking maybe you can branch out selling your nuts via vending machines. There are a couple of business models in the West to reference from and right from the back of my mind, you can set up these machines in schools, condos, workplaces (esp those co working spaces) etc. Have fun then, regards RandomWalk

    1. Hi there,

      Thanks for thinking through some ideas for me! We have tried exploring vending machines once but it's not so easy. The logistics and set up would be different from our current business and we are unable to find a partner yet. I think it's a good model that would be worth considering in the future. Hopefully you will hear more about us in the future! :)


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